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CA Spay/Neuter Action Center

The Voice of the AKC on AB 1634


The California mandatory spay/neuter bill, AB 1634, has resulted in massive opposition among the purebred dog community and other affected animal interest groups. Many AKC clubs and individual owners are actively involved in the effort to defeat this legislation. We commend the efforts of all Californians opposing AB 1634.


However, it should be noted that AKC’s official position on this issue is only represented by members of our Board of Directors, AKC staff or our legislative consultant -- Jeff Leacox of the firm of Greenberg Taurig, LLP. Mr. Leacox is the only California lobbyist that the AKC is working with in its opposition to AB 1634.


We welcome the opportunity to work with all opponents of AB 1634 but would like to remind legislators, media and concerned citizens that the AKC should be contacted directly to verify AKC positions on this legislative issue.


ref: AKC website as of June 27, 2007


Paragraph 1 states the obvious but does not state that AKC is in opposition.  Is it an oversight that the lead paragraph fails to state AKC's opposition to 1634?   It is noteworthy that "animal interest groups" mentioned would include HSUS, DDAL, and AHA, all of which have been associated with AKC in a friendly way.  (AHA through the Pedigree Foods fiasco at Westminster; HSUS and Doris Day Animal League going back to AKC's support of PAWS.)


Stating "many AKC clubs and individual owners" are trying to defeat the bill is a far cry from stating "AKC and Clubs..."


Paragraph 2 finally mentions AKC's position but is confusing at best.  As a wordsmith, I read it as intentional that the paragraph fails to state what the AKC's "official position" actually is.  Having written a breed column for the AKC Gazette, I can vouchsafe that AKC employs professional writers and editors, none of whom would have intentionally let such poor sentence phrasing slip by.


What does "onlyrepresented by" mean?  Does that mean staff does not have a position?  The rest of the sentence about Leacox and his firm appears as a clever diversion so that the reader doesn't notice use of the word "or" instead of "and".  Again, AKC cleverly skirted around stating its position but implies that only Mr. Leacox, who was well paid to have a position, has one.


Strangely, the last sentence of P-2, AKC stipulates that Mr. Leacox is the only lobbyist AKC is working with on 1634.  Is that meant as a plus or is it a defensive loophole?


Who is Jeff Leacox?  We're told he was very recently hired by that firm.  What is his area of expertise, his accomplishments as a lobbyist?  Lobbying is NOT what Greenberg Taurig, LLC does but it is highly respected and well ranked in other areas.  (The main reference to the firm as regards lobbying is in conjunction with a scandal involving politicians, payoffs, and an Indian Reservation....)


Will Mr. Leacox be any more successful fighting 1634 than Jim Holt (AKC lobbyist) was in trying to convince the dog fancy that PAWS was a good thing?  What has Mr. Leacox done to prevent AB 1634 from passing?


Paragraph 3 reads more like a warning than a promise to do anything to defeat this bill.


Foolishly, I thought it meant contact AKC directly to offer assistance or to learn more about its "positions on this legislative issue." I tried again and again to contact AKC but despite the best efforts of the lady on switchboard, no one would pick up my call.  I even left a voice message for Ms. Sprouse.  No one has called back.


We will endeavor to present a more positive and detailed AKC position in the next edition of HEADlines.


Dog Club News - No Margins. No Limits. No Kidding. #1051504




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